Jalen Rose, a 13-year NBA guard and current analyst, was sentenced to 20 days in a Michigan jail recently following a March DUI crash, the Detroit Free Press reports.
It seems like celebrities charged with crimes sometimes get lenient sentences compared to everyday people. But in this case, the judge went out of her way to send a message, knowing that the media would be picking up the story.
And in more in more cases, DUI defendants are facing serious penalties — regardless of who they are. OUI penalties in Massachusetts can be complicated by accidents, previous convictions or other charges. Unlike other misdemeanor offenses, OUI in Massachusetts carries a range of penalties most misdemeanor charges don’t require. And that’s why hiring an experienced Massachusetts OUI Attorney is critical.
Consider the possible penalties for even a first-time DUI offender in Massachusetts:
- Up to two and a half years in the House of Correction
- Up to one year driver’s license suspension
- Completion of an alcohol education program
- Possible 1 year probation sentence
And a conviction is expensive. By some estimates, a drunk driving conviction can cost as much as $20,000, counting fines, lost work, court costs, jail time, treatment, probation and skyrocketing insurance premiums. Most misdemeanor charges are penalized by days to months in jail without all the other possible penalties. But lawmakers have used their positions to continually enhance the penalties against these those accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. .
According to the news article, Rose was arrested March 11 after he crashed his Cadillac Escalade in a town outside Detroit. He registered a .08 blood alcohol content level on a preliminary breath test at the scene and later registered a .12 blood alcohol content in a blood test.
Under Michigan law, .08 is legally drunk. He pleaded guilty in May to one count of driving while under the influence, a misdemeanor in Michigan. Rose’s attorneys believe the judge abused her power because a newspaper analysis showed that most judges in metro Detroit and nationwide sentence first-time offenders to time served or a few days in jail if their blood-alcohol level is about .17.
What should be noted are a mistake Rose made as well as a possible area of defense. According to the article, Rose blew a .08 when given a breathalyzer test. In Massachusetts, refusing a breath test can result in a driver’s license suspension, but it also denies the prosecution some key evidence against the defendant.
There are several defenses to a breath test. A breathalyzer is a device that has a tube at the end and is supposed to measure a person’s blood-alcohol content level. But the devices can only estimate a person’s BAA because the devices are inherently faulty. There have been problems nationwide regarding reliability of these devices.
The article also states he was given a blood test. It’s possible for a defendant to refuse to provide these tests, but law enforcement officers will sometimes seek a warrant from a judge in order to force the test. This is particularly true when an accident is involved. An experienced and aggressive Massachusetts OUI attorney can fight to keep this evidence from making its way to trial.